Bubba Bolden, Safety, Miami
- Height – 6’3″
- Weight – 204
Like Jones, Miami safety Bubba Bolden was an elite prospect coming out of high school. Bolden was a high four-star prospect out of Bishop Gorman, a known hotbed of football talent. He has been a regular starter operating predominantly from the free safety role. His length and physical nature make him an intriguing prospect.
Bolden’s most impressive season came in 2020. He led the team in tackles, forced three fumbles, and had 6.5 tackles for loss. In both 2019 and 2020, he was solid in coverage. However, last season things went off the rails. Bolden’s performance was up-and-down, and he had an eye-popping missed tackle percentage of 22.9%.
Part of that could be down to a shoulder injury against Virginia in week 5. Bolden tried hard to play on but could only manage eight games all season. Hopefully, a full recovery should allow him to show more consistency in the Shrine Game. If he gets his on-field play to match his obvious athletic traits, the NFL will sit up and take notice.
Safety will be on the radar for a Bengals team set to lose Jessie Bates in free agency. The hope will be that Bates resigns, and the need for a new deep safety can be put on the back burner.
If that is the case, Bolden could be a late-round selection to bolster the depth that they may lose with the departure of Ricardo Allen.
These are just a few prospects to watch in the Shrine Bowl.